Friday, August 11, 2006

Ride to Work, Police Academy

I'm currently commuting to a facility a little closer to home. It's a short ride for me. It's only 60 miles round trip instead of 180. Salem is home to a new police academy, otherwise known as DPSST. ( Department of Public Safety Standards and Training ).

This facility is one of two in the United States with this level of sophistication. Of course, I'm ignoring the cool buildings and salivating over the track. At this point the track is still under construction. Unfortunately, nobody else is going to be allowed to use the track for a year. I guess they need to urinate on a lot of trees, first!! Too bad. Imagine the training we could give motors and civilians if we got lucky enough to use the track.

This angle doesn't do it much justice. Right now there's not really a way to show you the whole thing. There's sections for EVOC ( Emergency Vehicle Operator Course ) , a place for simulated freeway stops, and much more. In fact, the whole facility is set up to provide many different simulated scenarios to help an officer's training. We've been involved in implementing some security measures.

I went cruising the town after I was done one afternoon. After seeing only two bikes at the VA Hospital I was wondering about the state of commuting by bike in general. This is a parking spot in front of a couple of State Buildings. I'm happy to see that two-wheeled commuting is flourishing.

For Gary, Steve, and all you scooter folks, you'll be pleased to note two scooters in the mix.

I also saw an enterprising fellow who found himself a unique spot. I guess it's a matter of finding a place where you can but I would be nervous about being right in front of somebody else!

With Salem being the State Capitol, there seems to be more efforts to accommodate alternative forms of transportation. Motorcycle-only parking is fairly plentiful. Although it cracks me up whenever I go into a covered parking structure called Chemeketa Parkade.

The motorcycle parking spots are actually spots there'd be no way to cram a car into. Some are sloped very funkily. There's one spot I noticed that has its own hazard. A large pickup truck was parked in the space next to the motorcycle spot. If a bike was parked in this spot there would be no way for the rider to get out. Thanks, but no thanks, I'll take a regular space. To be fair, the structure is administered by the City of Salem and not the State.

It's Friday night. The Ride to Work week is over. The Ride for Fun weekend is getting started. I need to go contemplate the possibilities!

Miles and smiles,


Dick said...

That unique spot is what I used for years. I had a covered carport that was 6 stalls wide. As an owner of a condo, I was allowed one spot. I had a car and a Suzuki 1000 so I parked the bike in front of the car and both were under the cover and protected. I would bump up on the sidewalk to leave with the bike as both ends of the carport were open. I only had to navigate over the regular sidewalk step up. IT worked great.

irondad said...

I'd feel better if it was my own car. My son does the same thing in his apartment complex. Are you sure you were parking or looking for an excuse to ride on the sidewalk?


Dick said...

Both actually. The parking was at a premium there and if I didn't park there I would not find a spot except out on the street away from the complex and I didn't want to do that for obvious reasons. But it worked well.

Steve Williams said...

That track looks pretty cool. Motorcycle training would be more exciting if students could move around a track instead of a parking lot. Would certainly make the sport bike riders happy.

Nice seeing scooters parked with motorcycles. I have to admit my eye was on the BMW on the right.... oops, I didn't say that!


irondad said...

That's why I love teaching our ART class on a track. It's so real world relevant.

Do I smell a lust for horsepower? You know you want it, don't you?

Steve Williams said...

irondad: I''m not sure it is a lust for horsepower as much as it is a way to rationalize longer trips and more riding. "Gee, this big bike really needs to ride to Nova Scotia"

Saying that in reference to the Vespa would be met with more resistance I think....